African players in Europe: Ice-cool Salah reaches 100 league goals

Paris: Mohamed Salah became the second African after Didier Drogba to score 100 Premier League goals when he scored the opening goal in the 3-0 victory at Leeds United this weekend.

"He has ice in his veins,” said TV analyst and former Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood after the Egyptian reached the milestone in pursuit of Drogba’s 104-goal record.

Salah has scored 82 of the goals with his left foot, 12 with his right and headed six. Ninety-four came from inside the box and six outside.

Here, AFP Sport highlights Africans who starred in the five major European leagues at the weekend.

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH/SADIO MANE (Liverpool)

Salah slotted home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross in the 20th minute to put Liverpool ahead. The two-time African Footballer of the Year reached the landmark in his 162nd top-flight match, making him the fifth fastest to the milestone. Senegal star Mane capped Liverpool’s impressive display with a clinical finish in the closing moments having missed a host of earlier chances.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)

The Gabon forward was Arsenal’s hero as his goal lifted the Gunners off the bottom of the table and condemned Norwich to a 1-0 defeat. Arsenal captain Aubameyang ended the hosts’ top-flight goal drought this season with a close-range 66th minute finish.

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

The Ivory Coast forward inspired Palace to their first victory under Patrick Vieira as the Eagles soared to a 3-0 win over Tottenham. He drew a cynical challenge from Japhet Tanganga that earned the first of two bookings for the Spurs defender, who was shown a game-changing red card in the 58th minute for another crude foul on Ghanaian Jordan Ayew. Zaha then converted a 76th-minute penalty to open the scoring.

SPAIN

EDUARDO CAMAVINGA (Real Madrid)

Camavinga enjoyed a stellar debut for Real Madrid by scoring in a 5-2 victory over Celta Vigo. The 18-year-old scored just six minutes after coming on in the second half, making him Madrid’s sixth fastest scorer on their La Liga debut. Camavinga, who was born in Angola but has French nationality, joined from Rennes for 40 million euros ($47 million) this month.

ITALY

KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)

Senegal captain Koulibaly impressed Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti with his dedication by returning to Italy from international duty and heading straight to the training ground ahead of a clash with old foes Juventus. The 30-year-old came up trumps with the decisive late goal in a 2-1 win which continued his team’s perfect start to the Serie A season. He then snatched a camera from a pitchside photographer and snapped celebrating fans.

MOHAMED FARES (Genoa)

The Algeria international was crucial in Genoa getting their first points of the season after scoring twice in their comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Cagliari. On his debut for the club, wing-back Fares nodded a 69th-minute leveller and nine minutes later won the match with another header, moving Genoa out of the relegation zone.

GERMANY

ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING (Bayern Munich)

The veteran Cameroon striker came off the bench to replace Robert Lewandowski in the second half of Bayern’s 4-1 win at RB Leipzig and was rewarded with the final goal. When Joshua Kimmich slid a pass through the Leipzig defence, Choupo-Moting slotted his shot out of the reach of goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi to seal a victory which lifted Bayern to second.

ODILON KOSSOUNOU (Bayer Leverkusen)

The 20-year-old Ivory Coast centre-back gave away the key penalty, converted by Erling Haaland, which allowed Borussia Dortmund to claim a thrilling 4-3 win at Leverkusen. Kossounou earned a yellow card when VAR spotted him catching Dortmund captain Marco Reus in the face with his hand as the pair contested possession.

FRANCE

BAMBA DIENG (Marseille)

The Senegalese striker scored his first Ligue 1 goals as he netted twice in a 2-0 win at Monaco, making the most of being handed a first start of the season by Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli. Dieng, 21, arrived at the club last season as part of an agreement with the famous Diambars academy founded in part by former France captain Patrick Vieira.

IDRISSA GUEYE (Paris Saint-Germain)

After playing the full 90 minutes in World Cup qualifying wins over Togo and Congo Brazzaville, Gueye started and scored PSG’s fourth goal in a 4-0 win over promoted Clermont. The midfielder, another product of the Diambars academy, stooped to head in a rebound for his second goal in three games. – AFP